Many people ask me how a preacher or priest in Christianity can ever go to Islam, especially considering all the negative things that we hear about Islam and Muslims everyday. I would like to thank everyone for their interest and offer my humble story, God Willing.
Actually, a very nice Christian gentleman asked me through email why and how I left Christianity for Islam. So this is more or less a copy of the letter that I sent back to him.
My name is Yusuf Estes and I am the National Muslim Chaplain for American Muslims, sponsored by a number of organizations here in Washington, DC. As such, I travel around the entire world lecturing and sharing the message of the Christ of the Qur'an in Islam. We hold dialogs and discussion groups with all faiths and enjoy the opportunity to work alongside of rabbis, ministers, preachers and priests everywhere. Most of our work is in the institutional area, military, universities and prisons. Primarily our goal is to educate and communicate the correct message of Islam and who the Muslims really are. Although Islam has grown now to tie Christianity as the largest of religions on earth, we see many of those who claim Islam as Muslims, that do not correctly understand nor properly represent the message of "Peace, Surrender and Obedience to God" (Arabic = 'Islam').
Dear me, I am afraid that I got a bit ahead of myself, I was trying to give a bit of background on my own personal experience to see if it would in anyway benefit you in your ministry. This may seem quite strange that I would offer to help you, while we perhaps share a few different perspectives and concepts of God, Jesus, prophethood, sin and salvation. But you see, at one time I was in the same boat as you. Really, I was. Let me explain.
I was born into a very strong Christian family in the Midwest. Our family and their ancestors not only built the churches and schools across this land, but actually were the same ones who came here in the first place. While I was still in elementary we relocated in Houston, Texas in 1949 (I'm old). We attended church regularly and I was baptized at the age of 12 in Pasadena, Texas. As a teenager, I wanted to visit other churches to learn more of their teachings and beliefs. The Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Charismatic movements, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, Agape, Catholic, Presbyterian and many more. I developed quite a thirst for the "Gospel" or as we say; "Good News." My research into religion did not stop with Christianity. Not at all. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Metaphysics, native American beliefs were all a part of my studies. Just about the only one that I did not look into seriously was "Islam". Why? Good question.
Anyway, I became very interested in different types of music, especially Gospel and Classical. Because my whole family was religious and musical it followed that I too would begin my studies in both areas. All this set me for the logical position of Music Minister in many of the churches that I became affiliated with over the years. I started teaching keyboard instruments in 1960 and by 1963 owned my own studios in Laurel, Maryland, called "Estes Music Studios."
Over the next 30 years my father and I worked together in many business projects. We had entertainment programs, shows and attractions. We opened piano and organ stores all the way from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida. I made millions of dollars in those years, but could not find the peace of mind that can only come through knowing the truth and finding the real plan of salvation. I'm sure you have asked yourself the question; "Why did God create me?" or "What is it that God wants me to do?" or "Exactly who is God, anyway?" "Why do we believe in 'original sin?" and "Why would the sons of Adam be forced to accept his 'sins' and then as a result be punished forever. But if you asked anyone these questions, they would probably tell you that you have to believe without asking, or that it is a 'mystery' and you shouldn't ask.
And then there is the concept of the 'Trinity.' If I would ask preachers or ministers to give me some sort of an idea how 'one' could figure out to become 'three' or how God Himself, Who can do anything He Wills to do, cannot just forgive people's sins, but rather and had to become a man, come down on earth, be a human, and then take on the sins of all people. Keeping in mind that all along He is still God of the whole universe and does as He Wills to do, both in and outside of the universe as we know it.
Then one day in 1991, I came to know that the Muslims believed in the Bible. I was shocked. How could this be? But that's not all, they believe in Jesus as:
* A true messenger of God;
* prophet of God;
* miracle birth without human intervention;
* he was the 'Christ' or Messiah as predicted in the Bible;
* he is with God now and most important;
* He will be coming back in the Last Days to lead the believers against the 'Antichrist.'
This was too much for me. Especially since the evangelists that we used to travel around with all hated Muslims and Islam very much. They even said things that were not true to make people afraid of Islam. So, why would I want anything to do with these people?
My father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became and ordained minister in the 1970s. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the "Prayer Tower" in Tulsa, OK. They also were strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggi and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson.
Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording "Praise" tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals and homes for the elderly. And then in 1991 he began doing business with a man from Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. This idea appealed to me when I thought about the idea of having an international flavor. You know, the pyramids, sphinx, Nile River and all that. Then my father mentioned that this man was a 'Moslem.'
I couldn't believe my ears.
I reminded my dad of the various different things that we had heard about these people, how they are -
Terrorists; hijackers; kidnappers; bombers and who knows what else?
• Not only that but:
• They don't believe in God
• They kiss the ground five times a day and
• They worship a black box in the desert.
I did not want to meet this 'Moslem' man. No way!
My father insisted that I meet him and reassured me that he was a very nice person. So, I gave in and agreed to the meeting.
But on my terms.
I agreed to meet him on a Sunday after church so we would be all prayed up and in good standing with the Lord. I would be carrying my Bible under my arm as usual. I would have my big shiny cross dangling and I would have on my cap which says: "Jesus is Lord" right across the front. My wife and two young daughters came along and we were ready for our first encounter with the 'Moslems.'
When I came into the shop and asked my father where the 'Moslem' was, he pointed and said: "He's right over there."
I was confused. That couldn't be the Moslem. No way.
I'm looking for a huge man with flowing robes and big turban on his head, a beard half way down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead.
This man had no beard. In fact, he didn't even have any hair on his head at all. He was very close to bald. And he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. This didn't make sense. I thought they are terrorists and bombers. What is this all about?
Never mind. I'll get right to work on this guy. He needs to be 'saved' and me and the Lord are going to do it.
So, after a quick introduction, I asked him:
"Do you believe in God?"
Then I said:
"Do you believe in Adam and Eve?"
I said: "What about Abraham? You believe in him and how he tried to sacrifice his son for God?"
Then I asked:
"What about Moses?"
"Parting the Red Sea?"
Again he said:
"What about the other prophets, David, Solomon and John the Baptist?"
"Do you believe in the Bible?"
Again, he said:
So, now it was time for the big question:
"Do you believe in Jesus? That he was the Messiah (Christ) of God?"
Again the said:
"This was going to be easier than I had thought."
He was just about ready to be baptized only he didn't know it.
And I was just the one to do it, too.
I was winning souls to the Lord day after day and this would be a big achievement for me, to catch one of these 'Moslems' and 'convert' him to Christianity.
I asked him if he liked tea and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject: Beliefs.
While we sat in that little coffee shop for hours talking (I did most of the talking) I came to know that he was very nice, quiet and even a bit shy. He listened attentively to every word that I had to say and did not interrupt even one time. I liked this man's way and thought that he had definite potential to become a good Christian.
Little did I know the course of events about to unravel in front of my eyes.
First of all, I agreed with my father that we should do business with this man and even encouraged the idea of him traveling along with me on my business trips across the northern part of Texas. Day after day we would ride together and discuss various issues pertaining to different beliefs that people have. And along the way, I could of course interject some of my favorite radio programs of worship and praise to help bring the message to this poor individual. We talked about the concept of God; the meaning of life; the purpose of creation; the prophets and their mission and how God reveals His Will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas as well.
One day I came to know that my friend Mohamed was going to move out of the home he have been sharing with a friend of his and was going to be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and asked him if we could invite Mohamed to come out to our big home in the country and stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and some expenses and he would be right there when we were ready to go to out traveling around. My father agreed and Mohamed moved in.
Of course I still would find time to visit my fellow preachers and evangelists around the state of Texas. One of them lived on the Texas -- Mexico border and another lived near lived Oklahoma border. One preacher liked to a huge wooden cross that was bigger than a car. He would carry it over his shoulder and drag the bottom on the ground and go down the road or freeway hauling these two beams formed in the shape of a cross. People would stop their cars and come over to him and ask him what was going on and he would give them pamphlets and booklets on Christianity.
One day my friend with the cross had a heart attack and had to go to the Veterans Hospital where he stayed for quite a long while. I used to visit him in the hospital several times a week and I would take Mohamed with me with the hopes that we could all share together in the subject of beliefs and religions. My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam. Then one day a man who was sharing the room with my friend came rolling into the room in his wheelchair. I went to him and asked him his name and he said that it didn't matter and when I asked him where he was from he said he was from the planet Jupiter. I thought about what he said and then began to wonder if I was in the cardiac ward or the mental ward.
I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to 'witness' to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God's Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can't really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done.
After sharing this story with the man in the wheel chair, he looked up and me and apologized. He told me he was sorry for his rude behavior and that he had experienced some real serious problems recently. Then he said that he wanted to confess something to me. And I said that I was not a Catholic priest and I don't handle confessions. He replied back to me that he knew that. In fact, he said: "I am a Catholic priest."
I was shocked. Here I had been trying to preach Christianity to a priest. What in the world was happening here?
The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for the church for over 12 years to south and Central America and Mexico and even in New York's 'Hell's Kitchen.' When he was released from the hospital he needed a place to go to recover and rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I told my dad that we should invite him to come out and live with us in the country along with our families and Mohamed. It was agreed by all that he would so, he moved out right away.
During the trip out to our home, I talked with the priest about some of the concepts of beliefs in Islam and to my surprise he agreed and then shared even more about this with me. I was shocked when he told me that Catholic priests actually study Islam and some even carry doctors degrees in this subject. This was all very enlightening to me. But there was still a lot more to come.
After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe something like Jimmy Swaggart's 'Good News For Modern Man." The priest of course, had the Catholic Bible which has 7 more books in it that the Protestant Bible. So we spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct one, than we did trying to convince Mohamed about becoming a Christian.
At one point I recall asking him about the Quran and how many versions of it there were in the last 1,400 years. He told me that there was only ONE QURAN. And that it had never been changed. Yet he let me know that the Quran had been memorized by hundreds of thousands of people, in it's entirety and were scattered about the earth in many different countries. Over the centuries since the Quran was revealed millions have memorized it completely and have taught it to others who have memorized it completely, from cover to cover, letter perfect without mistakes.
This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original languages of the Bible have all been dead languages for centuries and the documents themselves have been lost in their originals for hundreds and thousands of years. So, how could it be that something like this could be so easy to preserve and to recite from cover to cover.
Anyway, one day the priest asked the Mohamed if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about their experience there and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what all types of ceremonies they performed. He said they didn't really 'do' anything. They just came and prayed and left. I said: "They left? Without any speeches or singing?" He said that was right.
A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Mohamed if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque which they did. But this time it was different. They did not come back for a very long time. It became dark and we worried that something might have happened to them. Finally they arrived and when they came in the door I immediately recognized Mohamed, but who was this alongside of him? Someone wearing a white robe and a white cap. Hold on a minute! It was the priest. I said to him: "Pete? -- Did you become a 'Moslem?'
He said that he had entered into Islam that very day. THE PRIEST BECAME A MUSLIM!! What next? (You'll see).
So, I went upstairs to think things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the whole subject. She then told me that she too was going to enter into Islam, because she knew it was the truth. I was really shocked now. I went downstairs and woke up Mohamed and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through. By the time he was ready to pray Fajr (the morning prayer of the Muslims) I knew that the truth had come at last and now it was up to me to do my part. I went out back behind my father's house and found an old piece of plywood lying under an overhang and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction that the Muslims pray five times a day.
Now then in that position, with my body stretched out on the plywood and my head on the ground, I asked: "O God. If you are there, guide me, guide me." And then after a while I raised up my head and I noticed something. No, I didn't see birds or angels coming out of the sky nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights and flashes. What I did notice was a change inside of me. I was aware now more than ever before that it was time for me to stop lying and cheating and doing sneaky business deals. It was time that I really work at being an honest and upright man. I knew now what I had to do. So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was 'washing' away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. And I was now coming into a new, fresh life. A life based on truth and proof.
Around 11:00 A.M. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest, formerly known as Father Peter Jacob's, and the other Mohamed Abel Rehman and announced my 'shahadah' (open testimony to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him).
A few minutes later, my wife follow along and gave the same testimony. But hers was in front of 3 witnesses (me being the third).
My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months before he made his shahadah (public testimony). But he did finally commit to Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local masjid (mosque).
The children were taken out of the Christian school and placed in Muslim schools. And now ten years later, they are memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.
My father's wife was the last of all to acknowledge that Jesus could not be a son of God and that he must have been a mighty prophet of God, but not God.
Now stop and think. A whole entire household of people from varying backgrounds and ethnic groups coming together in truth to learn how to know and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Think. A Catholic priest. A minister of music and preacher. An ordained minister and builder of Christian schools. And they all come into Islam! Only by His Mercy were we all guided to see the real truth of Islam without any blinders on their eyes any longer.
If I were to stop right here, I'm sure that you would have to admit that at least, this is an amazing story, right? After all, three religious leaders of three separate denominations all going into one very opposite belief at the same time and then soon after the rest of the household.
But that is not all. There is more! The same year, while I was in Grand Prairie, Texas (near Dallas) I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee named Joe, who also came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while in BAPTIST SEMINARY COLLEGE!
There are others as well. I recall the case of the Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was forced to ask him why he didn't enter Islam. He replied: "What? And loose my job?" - His name is Father John and there is still hope for him yet.
More? Yes. The very next year I met a former Catholic priest who had been a missionary for 8 years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and entered into Islam. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas Texas.
Any more? Again, yes. Two years later, while in San Antonio, Texas I was introduced to a former Arch Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.
And since my own entrance into Islam and becoming a chaplain to the Muslims throughout the country and around the world, I have encountered many more individuals who were leaders, teachers and scholars in other religions who learned about Islam and entered into it. They came from Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians from Egypt, non-denominational churches and even scientists who had been atheists.
Why? Good question.
May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following NINE STEPS to purification of the mind:
1.) Clean their mind, their heart and their soul real good.
2.) Clear away all the prejudices and biases
3.) Read a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language that they can understand best.
4.) Take some time.
5.) Read and reflect.
6.) Think and pray.
7.) And keep on asking the One who created you in the first place, to guide you to the truth.
8.) Keep this up for a few months. And be regular in it.
9.) Above all, do not let others who are poisoned in their thinking influence you while your are in this state of "rebirth of the soul."
The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts.
So, now you have the introduction to the story of my coming into Islam and becoming Muslim. There is more on the Internet about this story and there are more pictures there as well. Please take the time to visit it and then please take the time to email me and let us come together to share in all truths based on proofs for understanding our origins and our purpose and goals in this life and the Next Life.
And once again I thank you for your email today. If you hadn't sent it, I probably would still not have completed this task of putting down the story once and for all of how "Priest and Preachers Are Coming to Islam."
May Allah guide you on your journey to all truth. Ameen. And May He open your heart and your mind to the reality of this world and the purpose of this life, ameen.
Peace to you and Guidance from Allah the One Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
Chaplain Yusuf Estes
January 3, 2013 Subject:
I have a similar and a different story.
Except that I was not born into a religious family. My parents had a mental faith in Jesus, but not in reality.
As a child I went willingly to church because I truly felt Jesus' love for me.
But as I got older and saw the "religious" types as you described your family, I got totally turned off. By the age of 18, I turned completely away from any faith, including belief in God.
I can clearly remember when I made the decision to not believe in Him. I actually felt His spirit lift off of me and I felt free. Free to choose and do whatever I wanted to which, of course, lead to drugs, theft, more drugs and finally jail.
This didn't get me desperate, though. Out of jail, I went back to the drugs until God Himself started drawing me back to Him. The story is as long as yours, but I'll be brief.
My last basement level was Satanism and it was when a demon manifested itself and asked to come in and take me over...that was when I got desperate.
I knew that that spirit was evil and straight from the dark side. There was no way I was going to let that "thing" come into me. But what this finally did was wake me up to the reality that there actually IS a spiritual realm.
My thought was, "I sure hope there's a God because I now know there's a devil."
Every day became an intensive search for the Truth. The real truth, a real connection with real communication from God the Father.
I was so determined to find God that for the last 3 months before He blasted through, I didn't talk except to say "yes" or "no". I had no time for nonsense. I figured that if I didn't know the truth, why should I just babble about nothing?
At 3 a.m. on September 10th 1969, I was sitting on the steps of a park pavillion. There were other hippies running around stoned in the park, but I was bored to death with all of it. I was tired of drugs and tired of games. My life had to mean something.
I sat there thinking, "If there isn't a God, then my life has no purpose." Suddenly, out of the darkness came this group of people. All ages, all sizes and races.
My first thought was, "Oh, crap! Here come the Baptists!" I hated church people.
The first person to reach the pavilion was a man of about 45 years and the first thing he said was, "We're not with a church." I think one of the hippies must have thrown that at them.
My ears perked up. "Not with a church?" I was sitting against the wall so I put my head on my knees and pretended to be too stoned to listen.
The pavilion was soon surrounded by mockers and the curious. One shouted this and the other that, but it was nonsense that they were speaking because I knew them.
As I glared at them I noticed that they were a mixture of all ages and races. There were 12 year olds, teenagers, middle-aged men, one was from Argentina. I was convinced, "These guys are nuts!" But as I watched them, I realized that they couldn't ALL be crazy. "Not the kids." And then I realized that if they were playing a joke on us, they would have come on Sunday with the rest of the clowns & church freaks.
One of the teen girls came forward, not at all the type I would have listened to before my change, and she started saying, "I didn't believe in God either ..." She was suddenly interrupted by one of the self-styled hippies whom I knew was an idiot. He started mocking. She stood her ground and continued, "...but I told God to show me he was real." She then explained a miracle that happened to her. To my shock, I could see deep sincerity in her eyes. I felt she was telling the truth.
After a few minutes I noticed that, off in the corner, an older man was instructing these younger ones. Whenever they'd get talked into a corner or a trick question was posed, he would speak out and say, "We don't know." or give some other simple answer which surprised me.
I thought, "Hey, they aren't pretending to know everything." I could see that they genuinely cared about us. They weren't judging us as "filthy hippies".
I was so touched by the sincerity and humility that I finally went over to the man and started asking him questions. Two others joined us and he began to tell us of his own experiences.
He said, "God told me to quit my job, take my kids out of school and just travel around and tell everybody about Him." He then proceeded to tell us of the miraculous way God provided for them, prefaced by one statement that spoke loudly to me, "God spoke to me, and when I told my wife she thought I was crazy."
A connection was made. I thought to myself, "Everybody thinks I'm crazy, too!" He then told how God took care of them, supplying gas for the car, places to stay and so on. I then felt something I hadn't felt in a long time. I felt hope. My heart began to lift. I thought, "This is the kind of God that I always thought God should be. A God who talks to us. A God who takes care of us."
After sitting on the grass & listening for several minutes waiting for the punch line, I finally said in desperation, "Well, man, how did you find Jesus?" I didn't know if there had ever been any such person and I had tried everything and every way I could think of to find God. The man stopped, looked at me and spread his arms and said in a kind tone, "All I said was 'Jesus come into my heart. Forgive my sins and give me eternal life.'"
As the words came out of his mouth, the power of it almost knocked me backwards. I felt like a truck hit me, but fear of being dragged off to a church kept me from showing it outwardly.
I can't remember what happened after that. As I left the park, all I could think was, "I've got to try this. I've tried everything else. This is my last hope. Oh, God, I hope this works." I walked quickly down the darkened streets, alone, with no fear only a cacaphony of voices screaming in my head, "NO! NO! Don't do THAT!! Don't pray that prayer! How stupid! You would be really uncool to talk to Jesus."
Up until this point, when I would even think the name "Jesus" it sounded sooooo corny and sickening. The mental battle I went through was horrific as thoughts, more like demons, flew at me, "You don't want to pray to Jesus!" " NO! NO! DON'T PRAY THAT! DON'T PRAY THAT!!! DON'T!" I felt I was on a battlefield in a war. So I countered with, "I've gotta try this. It's my only hope!" The demons attacked ferociously and I fought back as wave after wave of doubt and fear attacked my mind and heart! " What would your friends think? What if they could see you?" These arguments were weak, I didn't care at all what my so-called friends thought. Finally I said, "Look devil, I'm the only one who sees what a square I am. I'm gonna DO this!" As I made this firm and final decision, the voices immediately stopped. Boom! They were silenced.
By the time I got home, it was about 4 a.m. and everyone was asleep as I knelt down in my mom's living room. I hadn't prayed in a long time, but though I was way out of practice, I thought this was the best position to start from. I took a deep breath thinking, "If Jesus is real, then the sky is going to open up, the angels are going to come down and they're going to take me out of here far away from this horrible world." I hated my life. I hated the world and my greatest desire was to know spiritual truth and love.
I looked up, swallowed hard and from the deepest part of my heart I prayed, "Jesus, if you're real and if what that man says is true, then you can save me. Please come into my heart, forgive my sins and give me eternal life." I had no idea what any of that meant, but it was my last hope.
I waited. Silence. No explosion, no sky rolling back, no manifestations, no angels, nothing! I waited a few more minutes, then got up. Instantly a doubt "Maybe he didn't come in." whizzed into my brain followed immediately by, "Maybe he did." I thought "Hmm, maybe he did." And I left it at that.
Two days later I was struck by the realization that I was peaceful. That had never happened to me. Ever. Up till that point I was so nervous that I chewed all of my fingernails till they bled. When I had nothing left to chew, I'd chew my knuckles till the bled. Having this strange calm come over me was most remarkable. All the fears I was fearing had left me and I sailed on a calm sea.
The following evening, I went out with a guy, Joe, that I hadn't seen in a long time and he took me to meet some friends of his at this second floor apartment that overlooked a swimming pool and after a few minutes of listening to meaningless conversation, I went out to stare at the pool. The blue pool was lit up and I was trying to use it as a sort of "crystal ball" still trying to use the failed methods of trying to transcend myself somehow into heaven. After a few minutes I was bored. Then, like a light going on in my head, I remembered that the man had given me something to read.
I reached into my back pocket and pulled out this very church-oriented pamphlet. God must have "blinded" my hippy eyes from seeing the picture on the front. A man wearing a suit and tie, holding hands with a woman and child. The picture screamed, "Establishment!" "Church!" Typifying everything I was against, but at that moment, my eyes were blinded to it. I turned the page and started reading. It was dull at first, but oddly, I kept reading. As my eyes fell on the words at the bottom of the second page, a change took place. The words that were written there were not just words. With the power of an atomic bomb, the Bible scripture before me shot off the page! "FOR.......GOD.......SO.......LOVED.......THE.......WORLD...", I shook as each word took me to a depth of my soul I never knew existed. Not just tangibly, but visually!
"...That HE gave His only begotten Son....."
My heart was lifted up by the gorgeous light that enveloped every word. A warmth I'd never felt before, together with a deep and unshakeable comfort, surrounded me. Comfort, peace, light, are so inadequate to describe the experience. Underscoring it all, was a deep awareness of being loved and adored. A feeling that nothing would ever hurt me again flowed into my very being. Every doubt I had was gone.
I leaped up and ran into the apartment jumping around and waving the pamphlet. I must have looked like a Pentecostal gone stark-raving mad, I gasped out, " You gotta read this! You gotta read this!" A girl sitting on the floor with her boyfriend took it, started to read, but then said with disgust, "I think it's kinda funky." Then the boy said, "Oh, you mean the bottom of the second page." He got it! "Yes! Yes!", but when I saw he wasn't as excited as I was, I took it back and started to read again. Once again, the words exploded from the page knocking me backwards directly into their stereo. I heard the needle go "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzut!" across the record and someone howled, "Hey, man, get this chick outta here! She not cool!"
In a stoned stupor, my friend Joe (who had brought me there), took me by the hand and lead me outside. We sat down on the balcony together and I shoved the pamphlet into his hand. "Read this!", but Joe, couldn't read anything. He was "gone". I didn't care, I pulled the pamphlet out of his fingers and started to read again. Unbeknownst to me, my eyes had traveled away from the lines of Biblical verse back on to the words of humans. The words were no longer alive. I was suddenly gripped with fear. I thought, "The words aren't moving!" I was horrified. Somehow I'd had it, all the truth and nothing but the truth, and now the Light I'd been searching for all of my life was gone. Overwhelmed with despair, I threw the book over my shoulder, put my head down on the balcony iron-railing and said, "I give up."
Suddenly, I lifted off and out of my body. Looking about, it appeared that I'd entered some kind of grey bubble and I heard my voice telling God all that was in my heart, "Well, I've tried to be good. I've tried to find out what the truth is and to find love and to help others." Etc etc. When my heart was emptied out, the grey bubble burst open and a light as bright as a million suns shining all at once beamed down all around me! I immediately looked up at the source of the Light and what then took place can never be described in words. But I can only use weak adjectives to say that I was looking directly into the most beautiful face I'd ever seen. It was not exactly physical, it was more real than the physical world and this is impossible to explain. I was aware of myself at the same time, like I could see myself as if I were the size of a baby! When I realized what I was sitting on, the size of this being became crystal clear as He held me lovingly in his hand. In comparison it seemed I was barely two inches tall. Looking once again into his eyes, I felt 100%, undiluted love. All that I could say was, "God, you're beautiful. I love you!" "God, you're beautiful. I love you!" "God, you're beautiful. I love you!"
Each time I would say this, He would repeat back, "I love you, too." But with a depth of sincerity that I'd never experienced. As if He would never tire of telling me and never tire of hearing me. As often as I needed it, that's as often as He would repeat it. His words didn't come as a shout, but as if inside of my heart. At the same time I could see them coming. They had the appearance as of when you see a gasoline explosion; a rolling fire. That's how His words looked, but with a bright and unbelievably beautiful white light. It was all the colors of the spectrum, but not dark. More like golden.
He then changed the scene and suddenly had turned me towards a sort of wall which seemed to be about 20 feet away, but distance didn't seem to exist. Everything was sort of interwoven. As I watched, His other hand slid the wall to the side. As the wall was moved, I became aware of a sound, as more of the wall slid away, the sound became louder and sounded like a giant bee hive buzzing with millions of bees. Instantly a voice whisphered in my ear, "That's the world." My eyes widened and I began to see more clearly. As I focused, I felt as if I was being fine-tuned both the visual as well as the audio. What had sounded like bees clarified into their individual voices. The hectic swarm in front of my eyes came into focus. Individual beings each one screaming, as though insane or in some kind of mental anquish. The appearance of these spirits was awful, but I felt no fear. Though it is a crass description, each spirit looked like human dung!
As I watched, a peculiar thing happened. One of these spirits was released and began floating towards me. Sort of like a fish in water. I was curious as it came towards my chest and then entered my solar plexis. Instantly, my thoughts were filled with a terrible and vile scene. Awful and filthy pornography followed immediately by a screaming, accusing voice, "LOOK WHAT YOU'RE THINKING RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF GOD HIMSELF!!!!" Immediately I was filled with terror and turned toward God expecting instant annihilation. I began apologizing to God profusely, terrified and telling Him I didn't mean to think that and so on.
I faced the direction where I'd previously seen his beautiful face, but there was only a dark looking thunder cloud where the warm light had been. My anguished heart poured forth apologies, while at the same time feeling it was all hopeless. Then, cutting through the fear and remorse, I heard s calm, reassuring voice. It was kind, loving, understanding, healing. With each wonderful word, the dark cloud brightened as clouds do when the wind blows them away.
Finally, and this is the only sentence I remember from that long, comforting talk, I heard Him say, "Do not worry. All is good." Exactly those words. With that last word "...good", I fell back as if in a dead sleep. Maybe similar to what a baby feels in it's mother's womb. Not a care, not a worry, no thoughts, everything taken care of then.... Whoosh!....immediately He pulled me up and I was facing that same wall of confined spirits. Once again, He allowed a spirit to approach me and the whole process repeated itself. Filthy thought, fear, confusion, condemnation, the cloud, His voice, a feeling of lightness, that same statement, "Do not worry. All is good." and then again, I fell into a deep sleep.
Suddenly I was back in my body and lifting my head up off my arm that I'd laid it on. Joe was still sitting there, caught in time and looking as stoned as ever. "When I asked him if he'd seen what I saw, his reply made it obvious that I, alone, had been given a special showing. I looked up and questioned in my mind, then to my immense pleasure, I heard God's voice, "It doesn't matter. He'll learn later." I was elated! "Wow! I can still hear Him!" So, I began to think of things to ask him. Things I always wanted to know about.
With each question, He would answer. Then I'd throw out another then another, then another. I was firing questions like bullets from a machine gun as the answers fired back. Then, to my shock, I become aware that He'd stopped answering! I got quiet and listened. Calm and reassuring, He said, "Those things are not important." So I thought on what might be significant and said, "Will I ever find someone who loves me and that I'll love,too." "Yes." came the definite reply. I was satisfied. I trusted this voice. I knew it was telling me the truth. I fired another question. He answered; then another, and another in rapid succession till, again, I realized He'd stopped answering. I tuned in, He replied, "That's not important." All this time I was being lead around by Joe and another guy who wasn't as stoned as we were, but all the while it was as if I barely touched the ground. I would see people on the street in certain situations and ask God about it, He would answer & explain. Then in the midst of my euphoria a fear struck me, "Yeah. You're all happy now, but you've got this awful disease!" It seemed true. I had been afraid to go to the doctors for fear of what they might tell me. A terrible discharge from having sex with more people than I could count, many that I barely knew. "Free love" had a price.
As soon as this fear hit me, I immediately looked up in the direction of the Voice, "God will I..." before I could finish my question, he replied, "Yes." And instantly, the disease left my body and never returned. I knew He had healed me. Five days later, I decided that all I wanted to do was serve the Lord. I began to think of how I could get to heaven to do so. That afternoon I was crossing the street when a van ran the red light and nearly ran over me! A girl jumped out with a tract in her hand and ran up to me. "Do you believe in Jesus?" They were a van full of hippie Christians. Within minutes they explained Jesus' Words to me and showed me how to serve the Lord on earth. "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." I have done so ever since, and now, over 40 years later, I can hardly wait to see Him face to face again.
One last note regarding my baby daughter. We found each other 29 years later and it was a happy reunion. I discovered that I'm a grandmother of 3 and I am now a great-grandmother. The adventure is still on and it continues to confirm the title of my favorite Christmas movie, It's a wonderful life.
"I once was lost, but now I'm found,was blind, but now I see."
February 28, 2008 Subject:
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
اللهم احفظ الشيخ اسامة بن لادن قاهر الأمريكان من كيد الأعداء